Goodnight, Gorilla

Tips for "Goodnight, Gorilla"

Before Reading:

  • Look closely at the front cover with your child. Ask him/her to point out the animal s/he sees. What is it? A gorilla! Pretend to be a gorilla, sounds and all, with your little one. Then, ask what the gorilla has in its hands? Say something like, "I wonder why the gorilla is holding keys..." and then get started.

During Reading:

  • This book has very few words, and the story itself is in the pictures. This means that you can stop at each picture, and either ask your child, "What's happening?" so that s/he can tell the story, or make your own observations along the way. This will encourage your child to "read" the story on his/her own, too. And remember to use both "he" and "she" pronouns for the animals; we tend to defer to "he" when it comes to animals!

Other Useful Tips

Before Reading, Explore and Discover

Take a moment to look at the cover and illustrations with your child and describe what it is that you see, as well as any elements that may catch your child's attention. Model great pre-reading behavior by asking your child questions about the illustrations. If s/he is too young to verbally respond, provide your own answers to the questions. This guide has a lot of tips, so don't feel the need to include them all in one reading of the story. Your child benefits from multiple readings, so feel free to ask a few each time. Use prompts like these to preface the book:

  • What do you see on the cover? I see...

  • I wonder...

  • Look, here is a...

  • Can you find the...

  • What do you think this book will be about? I think it will be about...

 

As You Read, Build Your Child's Language Skills

Teach your child important pre-literacy lessons by following the words with your finger as you read. This will show your child that you read text from left to right and will demonstrate that each word you say corresponds with a word on the page. Always be sure to be animated as you read, as a readers enthusiasm greatly effects a child's enjoyment during story-time. Use your body and voice to convey different emotions throughout the story!

Also be sure to incorporate simple math and sounds as you read, like counting things in the illustrations like people, animals, etc, drawing out sounds of letters and emphasizing rhymes in a story. Ask/ answer questions like these to help make connections:

  • What happened to...

  • Where did...

  • What do you think will happen next? I think...

After Reading, Make Connections

Talk to/with your child about the story and make your own comments if your child is not yet able to verbally respond. This will help demonstrate good post-reading habits and allow you to expose your child to more vocabulary and ideas.

  • Did you like that story? Why? I liked it because...

  • Let's go back and find...

  • Can you point to...?

  • How do you think _____ felt? I think...

/